To sell your life-story to the movies, you first have to write a screenplay or hire a screenwriter to write it on your behalf. Then, the next step is to send the script to film production companies in the hope that one day your life-story will be told on the big screen; unless you have been suddenly catapulted into the limelight, like a reality TV star, where film producers are eager to buy your story and turn it into a blockbuster movie.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- A4 White bond paper
- A4 Manila envelope x2
- Contact list of film producers
- Postage stamps
- Black pen
- Screenwriting guide
Write down the chronology of your life from birth. Write it down in an A4 notebook, type it up on a word processing program or speak into a Dictaphone. Write extensive notes about your life--important milestones, thoughts, feelings and memories. Include details about family history and connections to other people who have had an impact on your life. Discuss which aspects of your life would make for a good movie.
Decide on how you are going to turn your notes into a screenplay. Are you going to attempt to write your own screenplay? Or are you going to hire a screenwriter? Alternatively, are you going to write an autobiography of your life to get it published and then gain the interest of a screenwriter to adapt your book? Consider an effective movie style title for your life-story.
Write your screenplay, if you choose to write it yourself. Find books on how to write a book or a screenplay, available from your local bookstore or from online book stockists. A screenplay has to be written in the correct format for it to be considered by film producers.
Hire a screenwriter, to have your story told by a professional writer. If you are not a writer, this is the advisable option. Advertise for a screenwriter via online writing forums, newspapers, writing magazines or your local library. Your chances of being produced are greatly improved if your story is told through the hands of a screenwriter with a list of movie credits to his name. However, your budget may not stretch that far, so you need to hire a screenwriter who is not so well known but who has at least one professional writing credit.
Send your finished screenplay to film producers who would be interested in producing your type of story. Include a one to two page proposal of your life-story movie idea and a covering letter introducing yourself in a businesslike manner.
Contact details and information about film companies are listed in the Writers Handbook, which is updated annually. Available in your local bookstore or online. Send a self addressed envelope with the correct return postage to have your manuscript returned.
Write an autobiography of your life-story, as an alternative movie route. Send it to publishers or publish your story online via an Internet publisher to get your story out there. You may be approached by a new screenwriter eager to adapt your biography into a screenplay, if your story has the dramatic substance to make a compelling movie.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the story is original, has strong developed characters and has enough meat-on-the-bone in terms of storyline and drama to keep a viewer's interest.
- Avoid irrelevant details and a slow-paced, dull plot.
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